The Equality Act 2010

Our public duty

The Equality Act 2010 ensures individuals have equal treatment in employment and access to private and public sector services regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity. These are known as the nine protected characteristics.

Section 149 of the Act sets out the Public Sector Equality Duty, which offers protection in relation to employment, as well as access to goods and services.

As a public sector organisation, East Kent Hospitals has general and specific public sector duties. We must demonstrate we:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share protected characteristics and those who do not
  • Foster good relations between people who share protected characteristics and those who do not.

Sometimes referred to as the three aims of the general equality duty, the Equality Act also explains that having due regard to advancing equality involves:

  • Removing or minimising disadvantage suffered by people due to their protected characteristics
  • Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people
  • Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in activities where their participation is disproportionality low.

As a public authority we are also required to publish information to demonstrate our compliance with the General Equality duty imposed by section 149(1) of the Equality Act, not later than 31st January 2012, and subsequently at intervals of not greater than one year beginning with the date of last publication. The information published must include, in particular, information relating to persons who share a relevant protected characteristic who are our employees or other persons affected by our policies and practices.

For more information about the Equality Act 2010, check the Government’s Easy Read guide to The Equality Act.

Our Equality objectives

Each public authority must prepare and publish one or more objectives it thinks it should achieve, to meet the general equality duty.

View our equality information and objectives